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Communicating organic standards updates in the future

Future organic standards updates

Since we undertook a major revision of the organic standards and published version 18 last year, our aim has been to keep planned updates to a minimum – ideally consolidating any edits for 6 monthly updates (or even less frequently, if possible). However, sometimes we are obliged to publish updates outside of our planned timetable, e.g. the main example being, if the EU organic regulation is amended, we're legally obligated to publish the standards changes within 20 days of being notified.

As you're aware, version 18.2 was published earlier this month in response to an EU organic regulation amendment. Another amendment has now been made to the organic legislation covering import/export, and as such, we're publishing another update (18.3) to our standards today, which will also include a couple of other SA edits.

We have a planned update (18.4) we'll be sending out before the end of March that will focus largely on updating our Sourcing Organic Ingredients requirements for processors who may wish to begin sourcing from outside the EU post-Brexit. There might also be other updates before the year is over, but for the ones within our control, we'll try to consolidate them as best we can.

For those not aware, a new EU Organic Regulation is being finalised this year that will be implemented from 1st January 2021. Because of this, all of our standards will have to be reviewed and changed to reflect new legal text and references. Once we have further clarity on the changes we can expect to see, we'll communicate this to our licensees.

Finally, we know there are many questions about what'll happen to our standards after 'Brexit' takes place. Our Soil Association organic standards won't change post-Brexit and all UK certifiers will continue to certify UK organic businesses for UK trade. New UK organic food and farming statutory instruments have now been passed into law, ready to become regulation after Brexit. You can find out further information on our Brexit pages, which will be kept up to date with any new developments.